HOUSTON – After putting itself in position to sweep a Friday doubleheader at Houston Baptist, the Northwestern State baseball team struggled to keep pace in Saturday’s series finale.
The host Huskies used four multi-run innings to deliver a 13-3, run-rule victory against the Demons and grab the Southland Conference series victory at Husky Field.
Northwestern State (16-27, 6-15) could not duplicate its two strong starting pitching performances from Friday’s doubleheader as right-hander Cullen McDonald (0-2) did not make it out of the second inning.
McDonald retired the first batter of the second inning before the next Huskies strung together three straight hits, starting with a Tyler Depreta-Johnson flare single into right-center field.
Austin Zillweger followed a Matt Heck double with a two-run single that gave Houston Baptist a lead it never relinquished.
Kyle Swanson relieved McDonald and got the final out of the second inning before the Huskies began to find holes against the Demons reliever. Houston Baptist tagged Swanson for 11 hits and eight runs (all earned) in 3 1-3 innings, scoring three times in the third and five times in the fourth inning.
The five-run fourth came after the Demons put together their best offensive sequence of the game.
Hunter Uzzle led off the inning with a walk from Houston Baptist starter Daniel Endsley and Kwan Adkins followed with a double high off the right-field wall to put runners on second and third.
After an Emile Lege RBI groundout, Caleb Ricca lined an RBI single off Endsley’s right arm to cut the lead to 5-3 and end Endsley’s day.
Zach Carter (5-3) entered in relief of Endsley and shut out the Demons across the final 3 2-3 innings to keep the Demons without a Southland Conference series victory this season.
No Demon had multiple hits, although Cade Jones extended his career-long hitting streak to eight games with a seventh-inning double. Jones finished the series 6-for-12 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and four RBIs.
Eight Huskies had multi-hit games, led by Zane Otten and Brandon Brintz, who each went 3-for-4 in the top two spots in the HBU lineup. Houston Baptist finished with 19 hits, tying the season high allowed by Northwestern State.
The Demons return to action Friday when they host Incarnate Word in the opener of a three-game Southland Conference series. First pitch for the Cardinals-Demons opener is set for 6:30 p.m. at Brown-Stroud Field.
Houston Baptist 13, Northwestern State 3 (7 innings)
NSU 001 200 0 – 3 6 1
HBU 023 503 x- 13 19 0
W – Zach Carter (5-3). L – Cullen McDonald (0-2). 2B – NSU, Cade Jones, Kwanstan Adkins, Emile Lege. HBU, Zane Otten, Brandon Brintz, Matt Heck. 3B – HBU, Jake Pulcheon. Highlights: HBU, Otten 3-4, 2B; Brintz 3-4, 2B, RBI; Spencer Halloran 2-3, RBI; Pulcheon 2-4, 3B, RBI; Tyler Depreta-Johnson 2-2, 2 RBIs; Heck 2-4, 2B, RBI; Austin Zillweger 2-4, 2 RBIs; Kendrick Holmes 2-3.
Records: Northwestern State 16-27, 6-15; Houston Baptist 22-17, 14-7.